ASHEVILLE FLY FISHING COMPANY GUIDES
Guiding is our passion. Sure we love catching fish on our days off, but sharing the experience is far more rewarding. We are guides and instructors who enjoy helping both beginners and advanced anglers alike. Being a professional guide requires a diverse set of skills, not just being able to put people on fish. A professional guide is patient under pressure, a teacher and coach to their clients, has excellent work ethic in all situations, has a keen sense of awareness and the ability to adapt to different learning styles, fishing styles and personalities. All AFFC guides are endorsed by multiple gear companies which allows us to provide you with the best gear available. We are dedicated to giving you the best service you have ever experienced, and to always enjoy as much river experience as possible while putting fish in the net. We are problem solvers who enjoy the connections and process just as much as the pull. We push each other to be innovative, aware of the fine details and to always anticipate the next move gracefully and with respect. Our first time out with you, we take note of the details that make a difference to you. From the moment we meet you onward, we go the extra miles so you are right where you want to be, fishing better and laughing louder.
All guides are CPR / First Aid Certified and Fully Insured.
Galen’s obsession with water began in 1979 on the Van Duzen River in upstate California when he was 3 years old. He is originally from Georgia with Fisher family roots in east Tennessee and grew up spotting fish throughout the Savannah River watershed fishing for smallmouth, largemouth and striped bass, and trout in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. In 2000, Galen moved to Brevard, NC to study music composition at Brevard College. While earning his Bachelor’s degree, he spent every free moment learning the area’s intricacies from the backcountry creeks in Pisgah National Forest to the tailwaters in East Tennessee and beyond. Galen has served as a guide for the past 11 years. Fly fishing has taken him to many exciting destinations, but he says “ Most of all I love this area for the variety of fish and the close proximity to many waters.” When he is not guiding he enjoys his home waters, uncharted waters and salty waters. Under pressure, Galen is an easy going, patient, instructive guide who enjoys guiding the most skilled fisherman and novices alike. “I love it when the guide and client sync into a rhythm; two people, keen senses, one mission, bound by respect.”
Galen is River Rescue 3 International & ACA Level 4 Swiftwater Rescue certified. He has been featured in magazines and publications such as Southern Culture on the Fly, Dun Magazine, Orvis 2018 spring catalogue, Moldy Chum, Orvis blog, Angler Magazine, Nest Magazine, America's Favorite Flies, Angler Report, Field & Stream among others. He contributes to and supports WNCW radio station, Conserving Carolinas and water quality community outreach. Click here to view Galen’s guided trip photos.
Before guiding Galen was a performing musician. During that time he composed a symphony, string quartets and solo guitar pieces, played venues such as the Kennedy Center, Magnolia Fest, Floydfest and produced 4 albums in 5 years with an array of musicians. His experience in the music industry served him well in preparation to guiding. When he is not fishing, he still composes and plays music. His love for fishing and music has been featured in magazines and on radio stations throughout the U.S. A couple of his favorites are Midcurrent, Southern Culture on the Fly, Dun Magazine, KPFA and WNCW. His music can be found on iTunes and Amazon. He says, “There is an interesting parallelism between the currents of water and music, the simplest being they both make people happy and healthy.”
David was born in Charlotte, NC, and has more than 20 years experience fishing and guiding the rivers of WNC and East Tennessee. After college at Washington & Lee University, David spent his time back and forth between his home in NC and the legendary rivers of the Rocky Mountain West.
After permanently moving to Asheville in 2008, David co-founded a digital fly fishing magazine for the Southeast, Southern Culture On The Fly, and remains the editor and co-publisher.
David is a master juggler and wears many hats between the magazine and his position as a respected home builder & developer in the area, guiding and serving as AFFC’s chef on overnight trips.
When he’s not attending to work matters, David can usually be found fishing trout on the east Tennessee tail waters or Smallmouth Bass in the freestone rivers of the area.
David believes that a day of fishing should be fun above all else and runs his trips accordingly. Fish will most likely be caught, but the laughs will be inevitable. David’s guided trip photos
After a few years of tugging on his pants leg, we finally convinced Rand to start guiding with us. He has been rowing us on our days off for several years and is a respected angler in our community. For us, he is a breath of fresh air, a guide's guide so to speak.
Rand's passion for fishing was inspired at a young age. He moved to the mountains of western North Carolina in 2003 when he was eighteen years old. Since then he has fished for smallmouth bass and trout on a regular basis, allowing him to understand seasonal habits and dialing in productive techniques. Rand is also an accomplished professional fly fishing photographer for Southern Culture On The Fly, a popular fishing magazine based in Asheville. Being a fisherman and photographer allows Rand to connect two of his passions, art and nature. Rand is a true lover of nature and is right at home when he is on the water whether it is fishing, rowing, or photographing. He is excited to share his love and knowledge of local fisheries with others. Seeing others enjoying nature is what truly inspires Rand as fishing guide. Click here to view Rand’s guided trip photos.
Ryan’s passion for the outdoors began at a very young age, catching fish and all sorts of other critters while stomping through the creeks and ponds in Kansas and Oklahoma. Over the next 30+ years, that same curiosity and passion for the outdoors lured him to unique and amazing fisheries in Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, British Columbia, the Bahamas, and Slovenia.
Asheville has been Ryan’s home since 2002, and the surrounding mountain rivers and creeks still rank amongst his favorites anywhere. “Where else could I find wild trout on a beautiful mountain freestone stream, float a whitewater river for smallmouth bass, and throw streamers to 4-foot muskies… all within 30 minutes from home?" On the water, Ryan is relaxed, patient, observant, and totally in his element. Combined with his experience and knowledge of the local waters and their nuances, his clients are sure to enjoy their time on the water. Click here to view Ryan’s guided trip photos.
People call him Wiz. Perhaps for his wit, perhaps for his ability to find fish, perhaps both. Wiz loves to fish, period.
You name a fish, and if it eats a fresh fly or salty fly he will chase it down. He believes there is something to be said about waving a stick around all day trying to trick a fish to eat a chicken feather on a hook. He greatly enjoys time on the water and loves sharing the outdoors and fishing with others. He is an easy going guide and likes to keep it fun on the water.
A native of Morganton, North Carolina he grew up exploring the fertile fishing mecca within Southern Appalachia and Pisgah National Forest. He spent countless days fishing with family and friends on the mountain blue lines, east Tennessee Tailwaters, lakes, and smallmouth bass rivers.
These rivers are where he started guiding and developed his skills to truly understand what it takes to be a professional guide and instructor. When it all comes together, there is nothing more exciting and rewarding. Mitch started guiding fishing charters professionally in 2013 and has worked with top name lodges from the Carolinas to Alaska. He earned a degree in Marketing from Penn State and a degree in Outdoor Leadership from Warren Wilson College. Mitch is on pro-staff for Flymen Fishing Company, rows a drift boat and raft and specializes in trout, smallmouth and carp. He is River Rescue 3 International & ACA Level 4 Swiftwater Rescue certified and CPR/First Aid certified. Click here to view Mitch’s guided trip photos.
Knox has been fly fishing since early childhood. His earliest angling memories were with his grandfather, throwing popping bugs from an aluminum canoe on the rivers of rural southwest Virginia. Since then Knox has fished extensively throughout the southern Appalachians, focusing most of his efforts on the streams of WNC and East TN. A native of Bristol, TN, Knox was fortunate enough to be surrounded in all directions by a lifetime’s worth of great water. Knox has guided off and on since 2005 and is as comfortable guiding float trips on the tailwaters of East TN as he is in the small streams of Pisgah National Forest. Living on the banks of the South Holston River for several years, as well as in Asheville, NC for over a decade, Knox has spent countless days chasing trout and smallmouth bass. Throughout his diverse professional career as an adventure educator and now as a pediatric occupational therapist, Knox has naturally combined his love of fly fishing and teaching to help others fall in love with a sport that has helped to define and shape his own life. Click here to view Knox’s guided trip photos.
Dave is an Asheville native and third-generation Western North Carolina trout angler. He grew up fishing, backpacking, skiing and mountain biking in the area. His passion was developed at a young age but it is safe to say he is obsessed with the Southern Appalachians and their endless opportunities!
After being voted most-outdoorsy in his high school superlatives (a category that would only exist in Asheville) he couldn’t bring himself to follow his friends to Chapel Hill or Raleigh for school; instead he decided to attend Appalachian State in the heart of the High Country! On his first day he told his folks he was going to get a degree in being outside! Four years later he graduated with degrees in Geography and Outdoor Recreation, so he wasn’t exaggerating after all!
Back in Asheville full-time, Dave started a career in the outdoor Industry where he is still employed today. “Working in the industry has provided some incredible opportunities to travel and fish all over the country; I rarely go anywhere w/o a fly rod in my pack!” Whether it is sneaking in a day of winter Steel-heading on the Deschutes in Oregon before a meeting, joining coworkers in the Florida Keys to chase Tarpon after a work event, or even finding a day to catch an Atlantic Salmon on his honeymoon in Ireland, Dave always seems to find a way to get on the water.
Tagging a day of fishing onto as many trips as possible allows him to see different species and different waters. However Dave knows there really is nothing like his home-fishery of Asheville. His first love will always be the cool, crisp trout waters of WNC and the tail waters across the border in TN. “There is nothing like standing in cold water in the summer casting to rising trout.” In recent years he has also enjoyed the challenges of learning new species on the fly, including Muskie, Smallmouth, Carp and Redfish! He likes to say he’s not a fly-purists, he just really loves casting a fly rod!
Dave’s days off are spent in the woods. Usually on a bike trail or in a trout stream, sometimes with his family and two German Shepards, but always in the forest! Click here to view Daves’s guided trip photos.
The virtue of patience while fishing was instilled in Zach at a young age while honing his angling skills with his grandfather. This has yielded years of great angling adventures and the desire to share it with others. While fishing has taken Zach from Michigan to the Rocky Mountains, Alaska, the Northwest, Arizona and now North Carolina, the goal is always to enjoy as much river experience as possible while putting fish in the boat. During the 10 years Zach has been in the Old North State, an obsession with fly fishing for smallmouth bass has grown while chasing trout in the varied waters of Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina has remained a constant passion. Connection with angling friends started his guiding career in the mid-nineties. Since 2013 Zach has been guiding and sharing his knowledge on North Carolina streams and rivers. Thanks to a wonderful wife and 2 lively children, time on the water is a priority and a privilege which is often shared with his son and friends alike. With a keen eye for the fishy lies that others pass over and a willingness to try unique approaches to luring fish to a fly, you can look forward to many laughs as well as fish in the net with Zach. Zach is River Rescue 3 International & ACA Level 4 Swiftwater Rescue certified. Click here to view Zach’s guided trip photos.
All guides are CPR/First Aid certified and fully insured.